If you are towards the end of your career or just getting started, there is no doubt that hard work and a hand of guidance is part of your story. In his article “The Power of a Mentor”, Dr. Don Meyer (past president of Valley Forge University) highlights five vital gifts mentors gave him that forever changed his life.
1. Insights I Didn’t Know. Mentors pass along information or perspectives which we need to hear. They come to us with wisdom which they have gathered over the years. When Evie and I lived in Minnesota a man who was one of our mentors was Dr. Herman Rohde. “When considering change or a new opportunity,” Dr. Rohde would say, “there is never harm in walking through a possible open door and looking around; it helps you pray more intelligently.”
2. Blind Spots I Couldn’t See. Mentors can be objective. If we allow them, they can point out attitudes or behaviors which if left uncorrected, can cause us enormous harm. Years ago I came home and just started fussing about my day to Evie. In the middle of my fuss, she simply said, “Do you hear yourself?” She loves me too much to let me get by with that which will eventually damage my life.
3. Strengths I Hadn’t Developed. When I first entered graduate school that new level of academic work intimidated me. Although it seems minor now, those positive, personal notes from my favorite professor on the research papers for his classes literally breathed life into my spirit. His words spoke to my weaknesses and empowered me to keep going.
4. Disciplines I Couldn’t Build. Richard Foster’s book Celebration of Discipline speaks of twelve (12) personal disciplines clustered in three areas: The Inner Disciplines; The Outer Disciplines; The Corporate Disciplines. Although I have heard him speak and I have shared a meal with him, Richard Foster does not really know me; yet I would consider him as one of my most significant mentors because of this book.
5. Potential I Never Understood. When I was 30 years old and fresh out of graduate school, Dr. Don Argue hired me to be a full-time professor. Three years later he asked me to serve as his Academic Dean. And just over 17 years ago, he nominated me for consideration to be President of Valley Forge Christian College. Mentors see potential that we don’t see in ourselves.
Consider how you can maximize your position and gifts so that even after this life, your influence ripples to the next generation. Today is our opportunity to pour life into someone’s dream.
Many thanks to Dr. Meyer and Huffpost.com for this powerful article. For more information please check out: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/the-power-of-a-mentor_b_2860647
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